Trio go on trial over man’s fatal stabbing

Three Limerick men have gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged in connection with the death of a 43-year-old man in the city last year.

Seán Flanagan, aged 28. and Paul Colbert, aged 46, both of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard McMahon at a house on Lenihan Avenue on Jan 18, 2012.

Ian Flanagan, aged 24, of the same address, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assisting an offender on the same date. The accusation against him is that he removed a CCTV device from their house, knowing it might form evidence in a prosecution against the other accused men.

The jury heard yesterday that Mr McMahon was on his way to visit a cousin on Lenihan Avenue when he was attacked at around 12.30am.

Michael O’Higgins, prosecuting, told the jury the man received serious stab injuries: Seven to the back of his head, three to the side of his head, and three to the back of his trunk.

In his opening speech, Mr O’Higgins said Mr McMahon had bled profusely and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Mr O’Higgins explained that Seán and Ian Flanagan were brothers and that Mr Colbert was their uncle.

He said the jury would hear evidence that Mr Colbert and Seán Flanagan left their house that morning and proceeded towards Mr McMahon’s cousin’s house.

He said it was the State’s case that they attacked Mr McMahon as he mounted the steps of the house. “It’s the State’s case there were knife wounds and that a hatchet was also used.”

Mr O’Higgins said that in the case of Seán Flanagan, the State would rely on admissions he allegedly made that he had been involved in the attack.

“They arise out of a conversation he had with three young girls shortly after the incident,” he said.

He said that in the case of Mr Colbert, the State would rely on admissions he was the second person involved.

“Mr Colbert admitted he was there, had a hatchet, and struck out with it at least once,” he said.

He said other circumstantial evidence would be presented against both men, which would also convince the jury of Ian Flanagan’s guilt.

“It’s alleged that Seán Flanagan and Paul Colbert acted in joint enterprise or common design,” he said, explaining that this meant the acts of one were also the acts of the other.

He said the common design alleged was that the two men left the house armed, with a joint intention of attacking Mr McMahon, and that they worked together in attacking him.

The trial continues.


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